Diplomats from the British Embassy in Tokyo took on a team of residents from the Tohoku region for a friendly game of cricket staged in a town affected by the tsunami and nuclear crisis of March 2011.
The half-day match took place in Minamisoma, which lies 23 kilometres to the north of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and which was partially evacuated during the nuclear plant crisis.
UK ambassador Tim Hitchen explained to the Telegraph newspaper: "The reason we wanted to come is because the people in places like this are being forgotten. Obviously there is a question of safety, but the British government has from the start been led by the science in its response to the situation at Fukushima."
|The teams pose with a cultural contingent of local residents
Minamisoma suffered badly in March 2011 - first from the tsunami that killed 1500 of the town's 70,000 residents, and then from the nuclear crisis that saw a significant portion of the population evacuate voluntarily. Part of the municipality was within the 20 kilometre evacuation zone, but this has now been relaxed to allow daylight visits. The match and cultural exchange at the Kitaniida Yakyu-jo baseball ground on 7 September was intended to support the communities in their recovery.
The Tohoku XI took victory in the 20-over match with a score of 93 runs for eight wickets. Their team had been assembled by the Japan Cricket Association, which organised the match with enthusiasts from the British Embassy in Tokyo.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News